Wine Reviews

Browse collection of wine reviews.


Emiliana 'Coyam' Red Blend, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Contributed by: Joe Roberts

Chile's Emiliana is a master of organic and Biodynamic wine production, and their upper-tier Coyam red is always a delight. Able to hold its own with grilled burgers or a fine steak meal, this blend deftly walks the line between big, rich and approachable plum flavors, and complex aromatics that include spices, pepper, and green herbs.

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Domaine Bousquet Gaia Pinot Noir Rose, Tupungato, Argentina

Contributed by: Joe Roberts

There seems to be little that Domaine Bousquet *can't* do to slake the thirst of demanding wine lovers. Their Gaia line of wines offers very good value, and this rose addition is no exception. With flamboyant rose petal aromas and an energetic palate full of bright cherry and watermelon flavors, this is an easy rose to love (and to drink), while still dishing out enough complexity to satisfy those looking for something more than just refreshment from their rose selections.

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Keush Origins Brut, Vayots Dzor, Armenia

Contributed by: Joe Roberts

If the sparkling releases from Keush are any indication, Armenian fine wine is ready for its time in the spotlight. This blend of Khatoun Kharji and Voskehat (two indigenous Armenian grape varieties) is crafted in the traditional Champagne method, and exudes elegance in its refined palate, while offering up a floral bouquet and vibrant citrus, apple and white peach flavors. For the price, this is a fantastic bargain for lovers of elegant bubbles.

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Franz Gojer Glogglhof 'Kerner Karneid' Alto Adige/Sudtirol, Italy

Contributed by: Joe Roberts

If you're not familiar with Kerner, you owe it to yourself to give this under-appreciated grape variety a try during the warmer Summer months. A cross between Schiava (Vernatsch) and Riesling, this frost-resistant grape variety performs very well at higher elevations and cooler regions, and has found a spiritual home in Italy's northern Alto Adige region. This example of Kerner from Franz Gojer is a delight, full of citrus and stone fruit flavors and alluring aromatic hints of nutmeg.

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Balletto Teresa's Unoaked Chardonnay, Russian River Valley

Contributed by: Joe Roberts

Balletto has absolutely nailed the Unoaked Chardonnay formula to the wall with this perennially over-performing label. Its notes of lemons, yellow apple, mandarin orange, wet stone, herb, spice, and toast notes are pitch-perfect, while a nice line of steely, focused acidity carries everything through the palate uninterrupted and unhindered by wood influence. It remains a great alternative for Chardonnay lovers who need a break from oak-aged takes on their favorite white grape.

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CVNE 'Monopole' Blanco, Rioja, Spain

Contributed by: Joe Roberts

This 100% Viura white has long been one of the best wine bargains in Rioja, if not all of Spain. In fact, it might be Spain’s oldest existing white wine brand, having been produced under the same name since 1915. Always a pleasure to drink, this white cuts right to the chase with refreshing aromas of white flowers and lemon, and zesty flavors of saline and yellow apple. A great option for stocking up for Summer poolside sipping.

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Chateau Lassegue Les Cadrans de Lassegue, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru, France

Contributed by: Joe Roberts

This "second wine" from Chateau Lassegue offers good value for those who enjoy the modern style of today's Right Bank Bordeaux reds (but not the price of those wines!). This blend (primarily made of Merlot and Cabernet Franc) is crafted by Pierre Seillan (also of Verite), and exudes deep red plum and currant flavors, and really excels in its complex, top-notch aromas of tomato leaf, dried herbs, red and black berries, and graphite.

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Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel, Napa Valley

Contributed by: Joe Roberts

Cabernet Sauvignon gets all the glory when it comes to Napa Valley red wines, but another variety long associated with California has been making a name for itself over the last two decades with Robert Biale Vineyards' "Black Chicken" Zinfandel. Somewhat infamously named after a code-name for an order for a jug of private Zinfandel made by Aldo Biale in the 1940s. With intense aromatic spiciness, just the right amount of jammy red and black fruit flavors, and a palate that feels both dense and expressive, Black Chicken is justifiably now established as one of the most iconic Zinfandels from Napa.

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Balletto Chardonnay, Russian River Valley

Contributed by: Joe Roberts

It's getting tougher to come by affordable California wines that are made from all-estate by family-operated wineries. Balletto is one such family-operated outfit that's bucking that trend, offering this hand-picked Chardonnay farmed across their 16 estate estate vineyards in Sonoma's Russian River Valley. Pear, lemon, peach and apricot mix with baking spices and white flower aromas for a white that feels round, generous, and focused all at once.

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Ciodet 'Labano' Brut Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore, Veneto, Italy

Contributed by: Joe Roberts

There's a lot more to Prosecco than the near-ubiquitous sparklers that dominate the Italy section in the world's wine aisles. Valdobbiadene Prosecco, grown in the almost impossibly steep slopes of a small section of the Veneto region, can often be a cut above, marrying Prosecco's floral, pear-tinged fruitiness with a deeper sense of elegance and refinement. Ciodet's 'Labano' Brut manages just that, and is a great way to upscale your mid-week libations.

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